Race Previews

Graniteman Clearwater XI Preview...

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GRANITEMAN CLEARWATER SPRINT XI PREVIEW - The success of the G-Man Big Lake Tri was clearly demonstrated in the days that followed the race. A huge percentage of its participants, wanting to duplicate the experience, enrolled in the Clearwater race. Big Lake drew more than 300 participants. Clearwater will field similar numbers.

Very cool.

Before we talk about some of the returnees, we are going to tell you about a very special athlete that was not  at Big Lake, but will be racing at Clearwater. She is a Duluth mother of three. Her name is SHYANNE MCGREGOR (photo L), and she is our pick to not only win on Sunday, but lower NICOLE HEININGER's stout course record 1:09:49, set in 2014.

McGregor had only raced in six prior triathlons, three in 2018, three last year. Her first four efforts were solid, though not quite the kind that portended stardom. Her last two efforts, though, not only portended stardom, they demonstrated it...

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Young Life Sprint Preview...

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YOUNG LIFE SPRINT XVII - Two-hundred, perhaps a few more than that, triathletes are set to compete next Saturday at the 17th edition of this terrific event. We were allowed to take a peek at the registration list last week, and several names  jumped off the page, starting with men's course record holder BRANDEN SCHEEL, who in the last year has relocated from Fargo to Johnstown, Colorado. 

Branden may need to rival or eclipse his 2018 course best 56:54 if he hopes to chalk up yet another YLT victory. The guy he needs to keep behind him is fellow native North Dakotan and Scheel's employee ANDREW "AJ" MANNING. AJ rocked a 2nd against a stellar field at Big Lake recently, and also raced to what we assume is a fine result at Green Lake. (This post was written prior to the GL Triathlon.)  Does that mean he's ready to challenge Branden? We're anxious to find out.

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Green Lake XVII - Preview...

 

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GREEN LAKE TRIATHLON PREVIEW - Graniteman Big Lake is in the books. Next Stop is the 17th edition of the Green Lake Sprint and 14th annual Green Lake Olympic on Sunday, August 9. Dan and his crew put on an awesome event at one of our state's most beautiful venues. Don't let this opportunity pass you by. If you haven't enrolled yet, please do so at your earliest opportunity. You'll be glad you did.

Today we are talking about a few of the credentialed athletes who are already on GL's registration list. Please note that we received this list last week, thus it is likely that several additional competitve athletes have signed up.

Also, since the list we saw did not indicate which race the athletes are doing, our comments will be general....

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Big Lake Preview III - The Women...Updated...

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GRANITEMAN BIG LAKE PREVIEW #3 - Today we are discussing the female frontrunners based on a list we saw more than a week ago. We suspect that other contenders have either enrolled or will do so before the first wave is launched on August 1.

Here are five athletes who we believe will vy for spots on the women's podium:

JENNA HORNER, 22 (photo L) – If Myer's COVID recovery takes her out of contention for the win on August 1, then we believe that Horner and Kristina Swenson will fight over the Top Step. Jenna improved significantly in the last half of the 2019 season wherein she was able to nip Swenson by one second at Sprint Nationals, and by a substantial margin at Olympic Nationals. Swenson, however, beat her in their prior confrontation at High Cliff Olympic in 2018. Horner's bike and run creds are superior to Swenson's, but Kristina has a large advantage in the water. She'll need a big lead in the first leg to hold off Horner. In the end, though, we think that Jenna will collect her first tri victory on Minnesota soil....

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The Lead Pack: Men

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Photo - David Koppel and Josh Mork

GRANITEMAN BIG LAKE SPRINT PREVIEW II - The men's field at this year's race is deepr than ever. Cracking the Top 5 will be easier said than done. Here, based on the list we saw last week, are the guys who we believe have the best chance to do so:

JOE ADRIAENS, 30 – Joe began tp break out in 2017 and enjoyed two straight successful years. During that period, he climbed onto three podiums and popped a sub-9-hour IM. He has yet to record his first multisport win, and seems to prefer longer races. A Top 5 against a strong field, which features several guys with great sprint credentials, won't be easy, but he just might get it done....

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Age Group Records in Jeopardy at Big Lake...

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GRANITEMAN BIG LAKE SPRINT X PREVIEW - We've been anxious to post race previews for months, and we're happy that we can do so now.

Today we are making some Age Group predictions for the 10th Big Lake Sprint, which is happening on August 1. We were afforded a peek at the registration list last week and were impressed with the numbers of enrollees (250ish) and the depth of the field. Yes, some of what we are posting today will be upeneded by later sign-ups, but the point of these previews is not to make intractable predictions, but to hopefully stimulate some interest and discussion. We are wrong a lot, and we are totally good with that.

Before we begin, we will say that we expect, despite the "rust" factor, that several AG records will be rewritten.

So, let's start with the 19-and-unders:

19U BOYS - 2019 Junior of the Year KYLE SWENSON, 18, is enrolled and is our clear favorite. Can he take down TYLER HECHT's stout 2012 junior CR (1:06:54)? He threw down four records in five Minnesota starts last year, so yes, we think he'll set a new record....

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